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EPA Announces Dramatic New Clean Diesel Rule; Applauds School District for Reducing Diesel Pollution
Release Date: 05/12/2004
|(#04069) New York, N.Y. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny today praised the Longwood Central School District on Long Island for taking significant steps to curb tailpipe pollution from its 200 school buses. The District has adopted a policy of not allowing its school buses to idle while waiting to board children. Ms. Kenny also announced a rule that will dramatically cut pollution from construction, agricultural and industrial diesel-powered equipment by more than 90 percent and will remove 99 percent of the sulfur from the diesel fuel used in this equipment.
"Longwood's voluntary efforts are benefitting the local environment and the health of its 11,000 elementary, junior and senior high school students," Ms. Kenny said. "Voluntary programs like this one are a perfect complement to EPA's suite of programs to reduce pollution from diesel engines."
The Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule will have significant national health benefits. When the full inventory of older diesel engines used in nonroad equipment has been replaced, EPA's nonroad diesel program will prevent an estimated 12,000 premature deaths, one million lost work days and 6,000 children's asthma-related emergency room visits each year. The rule will cut nitrogen oxide emissions, a precursor to smog, by 738,000 tons annually and will reduce fine particles by 219,000 tons.
"Young people growing up today have no memory of time when the nation's factories spewed black clouds of smoke into the air," Kenny added. "They are, however all too familiar with the black puff of smoke that comes from diesel cars, trucks, buses, construction and farm equipment, and the symptoms of asthma that too often accompany diesel pollution. EPA is working to make the dirty diesel a thing of the past by requiring tough pollution controls."
The Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule signed today is the latest in a series of actions designed to cut pollution from nearly every type of diesel engine. The Agency has already put into place regulations requiring cleaner engines and cleaner fuel for heavy duty trucks and buses. EPA also regulates recreational marine engines and ocean-going vessels. is considering tougher new standards for locomotives and commercial marine engines, and today announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to gather further information and solicit input from the public.
Voluntary programs, such as the one in place in the Longwood Central School District, are critical to protecting our environment because they reduce diesel pollution immediately. The average school bus idles about one and a half hours each day. It is estimated that if every one of the nation's approximately 400,000 school buses reduced its idling time by 30 minutes, we would save 17 million gallons of fuel.
"Idling buses emit pollution and they waste money," Ms. Kenny commented. "But the 24 million children who ride school buses every day are the 24 million most important reasons why districts around the nation should follow the lead of the Longwood Central School District."
EPA has a voluntary program, called Clean School Bus USA, to foster policies and practices that eliminate unnecessary public school bus idling. The program also encourages schools to upgrade older buses with better emission control technologies, use cleaner fuels, and replace the oldest buses with new, less polluting ones.
Today's Clean Air Nonroad Diesel rule and other related documents is available at https://www.epa.gov/nonroad-diesel . For more information on Clean School Bus USA, go to https://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbuses.